A Game of Thrones-Chapter 6
From A Wiki of Ice and Fire
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Ned and Catelyn are in Catelyn's bedchamber after making love. Uncomfortable with the warmth of the room (heated by hot springs beneath the castle), Ned opens the windows. As she watches him from the bed, Catelyn thinks he looks the same as when she married him and hopes they have conceived another child.
They discuss the king's offer, which Ned intends to refuse. Catelyn insists that he must accept so as not to offend the king. While Catelyn contemplates the omen of the dead direwolf killed by a stag, Ned wishes his brother Brandon had lived to be Lord of Winterfell instead.
They are interrupted by Desmond, who says that Maester Luwin has an urgent message for Ned. The Maester is shown in and tells them that he has been left a message. There has been a carved wooden box left in his observatory while he was napping; the box contained a fine new glass lens for the observatory. The way it was delivered made the Maester wonder and he discovered a message hidden beneath a false bottom. Maester Luwin says he has not read it, and will not give it to Ned, for it is addressed to Catelyn.
Catelyn takes the message apprehensively. It is from her sister Lysa, and written in a secret language only the two sisters share. Catelyn immediately burns the message after reading it, but explains to Ned that the message claims Jon Arryn was murdered by the Queen and the Lannisters. Catelyn says that now Ned must be the King's Hand, to find the truth behind Lysa's accusations. Maester Luwin agrees with Catelyn, because the Hand has great powers that will help determine the truth and protect Lysa and her son. Then Catelyn tells Ned that he would not leave a man that he loves like a brother, King Robert, to face the Lannisters on his own.
Ned deliberates, and then makes his decision: he will go, but Catelyn must stay behind, to govern Winterfell and teach Robb the things he needs to know. He says that young Rickon may stay with her as well, but the others must come south--Sansa to wed Joffrey, Arya to learn the ways of a southern court. Cat reluctantly agrees but begs that 7-year-old Bran be allowed to stay, but Ned insists Bran will be needed to bridge the gap between Robb and Joffrey. The house will be the safer for it, and Catelyn has to agree. Catelyn feels lonely already.
Maester Luwin asks about Jon Snow. Ned can feel the anger in Catelyn. Catelyn remembers the bastard child that Ned brought back with him in the early days of their marriage. She understood Ned having bastard sons while away, but could not understand raising a bastard in the castle. There were rumors that Ashara Dayne was his mother, but Ned forbade her to ask about him, saying only that Jon was his blood. Ned would never send him away, and Catelyn could never forgive him that. Catelyn insists that Jon must leave, but Ned tells her there would be no place for Jon at court. Maester Luwin mentions Jon Snow's ambitions to join the Night's Watch. Ned considers this for a while, and finally agrees to let Jon take the black, though not until they are ready to leave for the south. He wants Jon to enjoy his last few days, and decides that when it is time, he will tell him himself.
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